In a nutshell:
Comedian Deborah Frances-White, who hosts The Guilty Feminist podcast, brings together previous writing, interviews, and new observations on feminism and the search for equality.
I got the audio book, but I still took this one down in the notes app on my phone:
“When people get angry about gender quotas setting a target for 30% women on boards or one woman on a panel show of five to seven men, we need to remind them that positive discrimination was alive and well and 100% in men’s favor for thousands of years.”
Why I chose it:
I’d not heard of the podcast until a colleague mentioned it to me last year. Then the book popped up as a suggestion so I bought it.
Ah, I loved this book. I even went and downloaded all 200+ of the back catalog of the podcast to listen to in the future. I also plan to buy the paper copy and read and review it next year, as I think there’s a lot that deserves a more closer reading.
This is a fun book, but it’s not a light book, if that makes sense. Frances-White delves into serious topics, and is open about areas she (as white, cis, middle-class woman) is not nearly as well-versed in as others who experience multiple areas of oppression. Each chapter involves an interview with someone who can provide some insight that Frances-White cannot, such as Hannah Gadsby discussing her experience with Nanette, or Leyla Hussein discussing her campaign against FGM.
Frances-White talks about ways to build confidence, using some pretty bang-on examples about why it isn’t just about standing in a power pose (though she doesn’t knock the power pose as a concept). She looks at the history of discrimination, and discussed the intersections that mean a white woman like myself doesn’t experience sexism in the way a disabled woman of color does. She also spends time on discrimination and access issues for disabled women, which I haven’t seen covered as much in other feminist books that aren’t specifically about that concern.
I found the book inspiring, both as a way to speak up more for myself but even more about how to be supportive of other fights. I didn’t agree with EVERYTHING Frances-White had to say (I think she’s probably … nicer than I am), but I found it all interesting.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the I’m a feminist but … statements that she and those she interviewed shared. For those not familiar, it’s a common aspect of the podcast. I’m a feminist but … followed by something that one would traditionally mock or shun or consider too shallow to be reconciled with being a feminist. I love it. We’re all complex. One can do a sit-in for a ban on evictions and also really enjoy wearing high heels. It’s not an either or. Every choice is NOT a feminist one just because a woman made it, but similarly, people are allowed to be complex and have different interests and ways of recharging.
Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it:
People who consider themselves feminists.
In a nutshell:
Author Mikki Kendall shares a variety of essays covering topics and areas that very much fall under the concept of feminism but that are often left out of the discussion by mainstream white feminists.
“Girls like me seemed to be the object of the conversations and not full participants, because we were a problem to be solved, not people in our own right.”
“We have to be willing to embrace the full autonomy of people who are less privileged and understand that equity means making access to opportunity easier, not deciding what opportunities they deserve.”
“We must move away from the strategies provided by corporate feminism that teach us to lean in but not how to actually support each other.”
Why I chose it:
I follow Ms Kendall on Twitter and saw that she had written a book. Given what I’d seen in her tweets, I knew I’d want to read her work in longer form.
I am a feminist. I am interested in fighting for equal rights, opportunities, access, and freedoms for all women. What that has meant in practice, however, has often been fighting for the things that are most affecting ME, and not the things that impact women facing more serious challenges.
Ms Kendall’s argument is that white feminism has been very narrowly focused on what white, middle-class women want, and she offers up many areas where white feminism needs to get its shit together. Whether looking at racism, misogynoir, ableism, white supremacy, or examining the challenges of housing insecurity, poverty, education, or reproductive justice, Ms Kendall points out what some of the real struggles and challenges are, and how mainstream feminism has failed – and could start – to provide support and take action.
One big component of all of this is looking at who an action or policy or work centers. Take reproductive health and reproductive justice as one example. Yes, of course I want all people who can give birth to have access to abortions and birth control. But for many pro-choice activists, that’s where it ends. Whereas Ms Kendall makes the case that reproductive justice means so much more – it means access to full healthcare, and it means receiving the support that is needed once someone DOES have a child – food, housing, childcare, education, etc.
The issues Ms Kendall discusses in this book can be fixed, but it takes serious work, work that the people who are experiencing them are already doing. It’s important that the feminists she’s speaking of don’t look at the issues and decide to get all white savior-y on them; a key thing this book has reinforced is to look at who is already doing the work and see how to best support them.
Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it:
A few months ago, a relative of mine drew my attention to what they thought was a “very informative” segment on Good Morning America (has there ever been such a thing as a “very informative” GMA segment?). This relative does what many people do: they worry about things that are outside their control, and then share information that may or may not be helpful, at which point it becomes my responsibility to worry (or not) about these things. It’s a fun cycle.
Given this, I was dreading watching it, but I chose to take a look at what ended up being a “security expert” telling women how to stay safe while running. This relative probably thought I’d be interested as my sister and I both run for exercise; she was a cross-country star in high school, and I’ve run ten half marathons and am training for one in October.
But let me cut to the chase: it was pretty much standard issue victim blaming wrapped up in “helpful tips” meant to keep women safe.
It was produced because a woman had just been kidnapped while running. It quotes from an unscientific poll about women feeling unsafe, and references all manner of “dangerous” situations (sorry for all the scare quotes, but there’s so much bullshit here that I need to point it out). Like having earphones in, or running alone, or having a ponytail.
(Always with the fucking ponytail.)
The voice-over says infuriating things like women need to make it difficult for “somebody” to grab us, which, come on. It’s not somebody, it’s dudes. In light of the murder of Mollie Tibbetts (warning: a video may auto-play), news outlets across the US and the world are again drawing attention to the safety issues women face when out for a run, which made me think back to this video, and I got pissed off all over again.
This fear-mongering is ridiculous. It stems from the same lessons that tell us to have our keys out in our hands, pushed through our fingers like weapons, as soon as we get out of our car or off the bus. The same lessons that tell us never to leave our drinks unattended or, even more disturbingly, tells us to wear nail polish that changes color when interacting with GHB, so we can make sure our drink hasn’t been drugged. It feeds into the same issues that any other campaign that puts the onus of not being raped on the woman: what you’re really doing is just telling them to rape that other girl. The one who goes running with ear buds in, or has a long ponytail, or didn’t put the right nail polish on before going out that night.
And that’s bullshit.
I get that tackling rape culture and toxic masculinity might be a bit much for 7AM on a Tuesday. But the thing is, it isn’t ever going to be any easier, and it’s lazy reporting to default to the sensational “don’t get kidnapped” of “don’t’ get murdered” story. Do better. Explore why men rape. Why men attack.
You know what I want to see on GMA instead? How about a video about women running that doesn’t focus on things like tight clothing and not listening to music, but instead talks about things like footfall, cross-training, and intervals. I run for exercise, for my mental health, and to be outside in the world, and it’s ridiculous to put the onus on me to be safe when doing it, when there’s no real effort to do the same with men.
Once again, women aren’t being given the tools and information to thrive; and I’m tired of it.
Content Note: This book’s subtitle is literally “Dispatches from Rape Culture.”
Best for: Those looking for some reassurance and reminders that yes, it really is that bad.
In a nutshell: Editor Roxane Gay brings together essays from 30 people (mostly women), all of which address some part of rape culture.
“The part I wanted them to understand is that these equations can implode, constricting your whole life, until one day you’re sitting in a locked steel box breathing through an airhole with a straw and wondering, Now? Now am I safe?”
“I wonder if, when it finally stops for good, if it will be too late to relax, if the muscle memory of the harassment will keep me tense on the sidewalk forever.”
“Then they will revise backward. They will take every opinion they’ve ever heard from you, every personality train, every action, and recast them in light of what you told them. This will be particularly true of your sexual behavior and your appearance.”
Why I chose it:
I am a writer. I mean, I don’t get paid to write, but I do write. A lot. And I have this essay, still sitting in the ‘ready to pitch’ folder in Scrivener, simply called “Arm Grab,” about the time a random dude grabbed and squeezed my arm and then ran off, and what multiple encounters like that do a person over time. And before reading this book, I probably would have left it in the folder forever because it is just one in a long line of small incidents that I would have described as “not that bad.”
This is a book that can be hard to read. It isn’t 30 essays about rape, though — it’s 30 essays about the various ways that rape culture affects women and men. About street harassment, and child abuse, and date rape. Individual stories that are connected by the ways we don’t believe women, or treat them as broken, or at fault, or as liars. The ways we’re taught to be grateful that our experiences don’t matter, don’t affect the ways we navigate this world.
The essay that resonated the most with me was “Getting Home,” where author Nicole Boyce talks about how an experience led to her not feeling comfortable walking alone after dark. Like ever. And so much of what she wrote lives in my head. The fear of the sound behind me when I leave the tube station. The keys sticking out through our fingers. My confusion and then sadness when my husband and I go for a walk late in the evening and I don’t want to walk through the park because I wouldn’t do it alone, and I remember that he navigates the world without really having to make those calculations.
I’d recommend this to everyone who feels that they’re in a place where they could read it. It’s not light reading, but it wasn’t nearly as challenging a read as I thought it would be.
“The all-girl team representing Afghanistan hails from Herat, a city of half a million people in the western part of the country. To interview for their visas, the girls risked a 500 mile trek cross-country to the American embassy in Kabul – the site of several recent suicide attacks and one deadly truck bomb in early June that killed at least 90 people. Despite the recent violence, the teenagers braved the trip to the country’s capital not once, but twice, hoping a second round of interviews might help secure their 7-day visas after the team was rejected on its first try. But no luck.” Denied: Afghanistan’s All-Girl Robotics Team Can’t Get Visas To The US (by Hilary Brueck for Forbes)
“The law does not share that interpretation. “The First Amendment only regulates the government,” explained Rebecca Tushnet, a professor of First Amendment law at Harvard. Does she think there is any merit in telling a person that her critique of your art is infringing on your free speech? “No.” It’s been a surprisingly effective rhetorical strategy nonetheless. Americans are fiercely proud of our culture of (nearly) unfettered expression, though often not so clear on the actual parameters of the First Amendment. To defend speech is to plant a flag on the right side of history; to defend unpopular speech is to be a real rogue, a sophisticate, the kind of guy who gets it. “Freedom of speech is such a buzzword that people can rally around,” Ms. Sarkeesian said, “and that works really well in their favor. They’re weaponizing free speech to maintain their cultural dominance.”” Save Free Speech From Trolls (by Lindy West for The New York Times)
“The event, called Gaming Ladies, was intended to create a safe space for female game developers, a demographic that’s woefully underrepresented in the gaming world. In response, a small, vitriolic group plotted on the forum ForoCoches (an invite-only car forum that’s basically a Spanish-language 4chan) to pretend to be transgender women in order to gain access to the conference and disrupt it.” King’s Gaming Ladies event canceled following targeted online harassment campaign (by Tim Mulkerin for Mic)
“Their presence was plainly not, as one of them later said in an “apology” video he posted to Twitter, to “give us the chance we never gave them” and to “hear us out,” but was instead to intimidate me and put me on edge. They will no doubt plead innocent and act shocked at what they characterize as the outrageousness of such allegations. This, too, is part of their strategy: gaslighting, acting in a way intended to encourage me and their other targets to doubt ourselves and to wonder if all of this isn’t just in our heads. But to anyone who examines their patterns of behavior with clear eyes, the intentions of their actions are undeniably apparent.” On VidCon, Harassment & Garbage Humans (by Anita Sarkeesian for Feminist Frequency)
“A longtime symphony fan, Ahmad knows the orchestra doesn’t permit flash photography during its performances, so she turned her flash off to snap a shot before the show started. “I was shocked,” she said. “I just very calmly said to him, ‘You cannot hit me. That’s assault. If you hit me again, I will charge you.’ At that point he called me a child and an expletive, and it was just very stunning. I won’t repeat the word.”” Professor says she was assaulted twice at the Toronto symphony and nobody stood up for her (by the CBC)
Criminal Punishment System
“Violence against People of Color (POC), gender and sexual violence against Womxn of Color (WOC) and Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC), is endemic and systemic. It is colonial, centuries-old, poured into the very foundation of this nation. It keeps the status quo intact; upholding cis male patriarchy and white supremacy by brutalizing the marginalized into submission. Violence is the norm and it has been happening for a long time. If you’re surprised by recent tragic events–then you’re not paying attention but, more importantly, you have the privilege to not pay attention. Ask yourself, why did I not see? What in the world around allows me to not see? What in myself allows me to not see?” 9 Ways Non-Black Folks Can Show Up For Charleena Lyles (by Sharon H. Change for South Sound Emerald)
“When we returned for our sophomore year, she told me the pressure had become too much. She feared for her partners’ shame, feared for more bullying from her tough love parents, feared for the jeering her thinner friends had to endure when they spent time with her. So she got weight loss surgery. I told her I was happy for her, and I was. She’d made a decision about how to engage with her own body. We’d often talked about how often our bodies were taken from us — from unsolicited diet advice to fatcalling, unwelcome comments about our orders at restaurants to bullying in the name of “concern.” Thinness was the only way she could truly end all of that.” On Weight Loss Surgery And The Unbearable Thinness Of Being (by Your Fat Friend for The Establishment)
“However, Gail Simone, whose Wonder Woman comics from 2008 to 2010 inspired several facets of the film, noted on Twitter that her name did not appear among other thanked creators in the credits. That list was, in fact, entirely male, leaving out other influential creators, such as series editor Karen Berger. And while “The Marston Family” is listed, William Moulton Marston’s partners Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne—two women who played integral roles in the character’s inception—are not named, nor is Marston’s assistant and longtime Wonder Woman ghostwriter Joye Hummel Murchison. This isn’t to say men weren’t snubbed too (H.G. Peter, another of Marston’s co-creators, remains uncredited), but it’s hard not raise an eyebrow when two men who created a sword are given credit instead of any woman who worked on the world’s most famous female superhero.” ‘Wonder Woman’s’ Credits Reveal the Sexist Mistreatment of Women in Comics (by Sam Riedel for Bitch)
“An honest examination of your beliefs is a lot like cleaning house (I’m using creative imagination here because I never clean my house). You have a lot of stuff in your house and it can all seem like very necessary stuff. But if you buy every item that catches your eye and take it home with you, it will pile up, block your doorway, and cut you off from the rest of the world. But if you regularly hold each item up to the light and ask, “why do I really have this? Is it helping me? Is this meeting my needs? Did this ever meet my needs?” You Must Understand Why You Believe What You Believe — And How You Got There (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Establishment)
Horrific Executive Action and Legislation
“DeVos’ selection of these individuals, along with existing staff at the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), confirms what many suspected: that DeVos will push hard for school privatization from the beginning of her term as education secretary. This, in turn, could endanger the general success of the country’s K-12 education while creating even larger barriers to fair treatment in school for already marginalized populations.” Betsy DeVos’ Choice of New Hires Suggests She’ll Keep Her School Privatization Promises (by Alex Kotch for Rewire)
“Many of Fallon’s famous friends show up to explain that Fallon just isn’t an edgy, political guy. He wants to provide silly humor for as wide an audience as possible. What we are meant to understand is that Jimmy Fallon just doesn’t pick sides, okay? No. That’s not okay. It wasn’t okay when Fallon ruffled Trump’s hair before the election, and it sure as shit isn’t okay now that Trump is president.” Sorry, Jimmy Fallon. We All Have to Pick Sides Now. (by Melissa McEwan for Shakesville)
““I used to say that I kicked down the door, but no one else came in,” Gayle Sierens told Richard Sandomir of the New York Times in 2009. “But I think that day is nearing. I really do.”
Mowins joined ESPN in 1994, and has since worked as a play-by-play announcer for NCAA Championships in basketball, softball, soccer, and volleyball, and according to ESPN Media Zone, has been the voice of the Women’s College World Series for over 20 years.” For the first time in NFL history, a woman will call play-by-play on national television (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)
“Across the South, communities began taking a critical look at many other symbols honoring the Confederacy and its icons — statues and monuments; city seals; the names of streets, parks and schools; and even official state holidays. There have been more than 100 attempts at the state and local levels to remove the symbols or add features to provide more historical context.” Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy (Southern Poverty Law Center)
“The possibilities, should I fly round trip from the United States to the Philippines and back again, are these: everything goes fine, but I am justifiably terrified of being publicly assaulted and degraded; I am, in fact, publicly assaulted and degraded; either of the above, plus I’m racially profiled. Traveling through a post-9/11 world while ambiguously brown has always meant a curious sort of luck when it comes to winning the random selection-and-arbitrary-detention lottery.” The ‘Trans Tax’: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Leaving My House (by Nacasio Andres Reed for Rewire)
“Ironically, the Global Gag Rule isn’t associated with lower abortion rates. In some areas, it has been shown to actually increase the number of abortions, especially the number of unsafe abortions. After President George W. Bush reinstated the Gag, the U.S. cut off aid to organizations it said violated the policy in 20 developing countries, limiting women’s access not only to family planning but also to HIV prevention and treatment, maternal and child health services, and even malaria prevention and treatment.” Let’s Not Forget This Trump Policy Will Kill Women Around the World (by Lauren Rankin for Allure)
In a nutshell: Essays on the experiences of women.
Line that sticks with me: “The entitlement to be the one who is heard, believed, and respected has silenced so many women who may never be heard, in so many cases.”
Why I chose it: I’ve enjoyed Ms. Solnit’s writing in the past.
Review: I wish I had more energy to do this review justice. I definitely enjoyed many of the essays in this book, and as always Ms. Solnit has a way with words that any writer would envy. That said – I don’t know. This one didn’t do as much for me as her last book.
I found the second half of the book to be more engaging and interesting to read than the first half, although I did underline and make notes on quite a few passages throughout. Her words on the Isla Vista murders and on rape jokes are especially good, but I can’t really imagine that I’ll be buying this for friends or returning to it often over the years to come.
Best for: People interested in feminist critique who have a lot of patience.
In a nutshell: There is something called universal feminism, which is what feminism is now. And it is bad, because it is not doing nearly enough. Also, if you don’t worship Andrea Dworkin, you are the worst.
Line that sticks with me: “It’s easier to complain about the power you don’t have than to think about how you are wielding the power you do have.” (p 83)
Why I chose it: Someone in a Pajiba-adjacent Facebook group posted an interview with the author. It seemed like it might be challenging enough to be enjoyable.
Review: I wrote in the margins of this book more than I have in a while, and nearly every comment was negative. Right up front she makes the claim that today’s feminism is trying to be ‘universal’ but doesn’t provide strong evidence to that claim (at least, I didn’t see it). And I get what she’s going for here, but it really doesn’t work. It feels more like she came up with this idea and decided it would be the focus of the book, and then refused to ‘kill her darlings,’ as it were, when it didn’t end up working out that well.
But let’s say she’s right, and that the problem with feminism today is that it tries to be universal. This does not save her from spending a large portion of this book both railing against women who tell other women how to be feminists, while then telling us how we are doing feminism wrong. It’s like she’s decided that the Alanis Morissette definition of irony is correct, and thus chooses to ignore how so many of the complaints she has about ‘universal feminism’ can also be found in the pages of her own book.
She also really has a problem with ‘identity politics,’ which maybe she doesn’t fully understand? Because later in the book she seems to support the concepts behind recognizing that people have different intersections of marginalization. The writing makes me think that this is what might happen if Bernie Sanders and Susan Sarandon had a child, and that child grew up to write a lot of strong words with not a lot of support.
And the thing is, she does have *some* good things to say. And some interesting things to say. For sure. I didn’t always agree with her, but some of her more challenging ideas were certainly interesting. One section, albeit brief, talks about marriage as problematic. In later interviews I think she said something about how feminists don’t get married, but in the book at least, her point wasn’t entirely ignorant about the current state of marriage; she instead seemed worried about what it means to younger women when marriage is the goal. So not so much that marriage itself is the problem, but what choices we make to guarantee we will get to marriage. Not totally ground-breaking, but definitely interesting.
But she absolutely, unreservedly refuses to show her work. If I were grading any of these chapters for a college course, she’d get maybe a C at best in most of them, because she makes wide sweeping generalizations without supporting evidence. In other interviews she has said this is because she didn’t want her message to get lost in the inevitable claims of cat-fighting that would follow. And I am sympathetic to that … but she still has to support her claims. This isn’t a personal blog or a letter to friends. She’s making very strong claims about an entire political and social movement; I shouldn’t have to write “citation needed” in every margin.
The author clearly has a lot of problems with our current society. And so many of the concerns she raises are, I think, valid. She just, in my reading, does a very poor job of creating any sort of cohesive narrative around how these problems and feminism – the current reality of it, not the straw man she’s invoking – are currently at odds. But I’d love to discuss it with others who have read this.
Last thought – she repeatedly expresses her frustration that feminists aren’t fans of Andrea Dworkin. But, as I understand it, Ms. Dworkin was very supportive of anti-trans author Janice Raymond. I admittedly am not that familiar with either of their works, but considering Ms. Crispin only name-checks maybe three feminist authors in the entire book, this seems an odd choice for sure.
I wavered between giving this book two and three stars. If we had half stars, this would be a solidly 2.5 stars book. I did, however, choose the higher option because there are very interesting ideas in here – I just don’t think she does a good job of communicating them.
“Hi! I see you there! Welcome to the anti-racism movement. I know you were kind of hoping to sneak in the back of class in the middle of this semester and then raise your hand in a few days to offer up expert opinion like you’ve always been here — but you’ve been spotted, and I have some homework for you, because you’ve missed A LOT and we don’t have the time to go over it all together. I’m glad you are here (I mean, I’d really rather you arrived sooner and I’m a little/lot resentful at how often we have to stop this class to cover all the material for people who are just now realizing that this is a class they should be taking, but better late than never I guess) and I know that once you catch up, you can contribute a lot to the work being done here.” Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Establishment)
“There was a time when I assumed that your anti-Black responses to my posts were an indication that you simply didn’t understand what you were saying. There was a time when I’d spend days figuring out how to explain why your comments were so fucked up, all the while making sure I didn’t say anything too confrontational. Because you’d accuse me of pulling the “race card” (no such thing) and of getting too emotional, and then refuse to listen until I “calmed down,” I’d put extra effort into projecting civility and calm, hoping you’d understand the rationality and legitimacy of what I had to say. I’d call your words “insensitive” instead of racist, because using the r-word is an automatic eject from a conversation.” Dear People Who Comment On My Facebook Posts To Silence Me (by Talynn Kel for The Establishment)
“The NAACP proposal does not strictly define ethnic studies, but the subject is often described as an interdisciplinary study of power, race, ethnicity and national origin, often including gender and sexual orientation, from the perspectives of marginalized groups. It’s meant to fill in the wide gaps left by traditional textbooks, literature and curricula that predominately focus on the contributions and world views of white men.” Seattle Schools may make ethnic studies mandatory (by Ann Dornfeld for KUOW)
Horrendous Executive Orders and Legislation
“Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to me when immigration agents came into my apartment after they arrested my father outside. I was arrested, too, detained and brought to this center. Agents said that a tattoo on my arm means I’m in a gang. I got that tattoo when I was 18 to honor La Paz, Mexico, the city where I was born. Agents interrogated me for hours and insisted I was a gang member because I’m from the Central Valley. They are all gang members there, they told me. It didn’t seem to matter how many times I told them that I wasn’t.” Daniel Ramirez Medina: I’m a ‘dreamer,’ but immigration agents detained me anyway (by Daniel Ramirez Medina for Washington Post)
“Born and raised in Houston, Barazi is a Muslim whose father emigrated from Syria and has been a US citizen for nearly four decades. Barazi’s mom said she couldn’t deal with the fear that her son might be singled out for extra inspection or, worse, detained when he tried to re-enter the United States. So Barazi, 22, joined the ranks of American Muslims whose ability to travel is restricted not by official Trump administration policy, but because they’re scared of what might happen when they land in US airport.” American Muslims Are Canceling Spring Break Trips To Avoid Being Hassled At The Airport (by Hannah Allam for Buzzfeed)
“House appropriations subcommittees began reviewing the plan late Wednesday. Among the cuts: drastic reductions in the 60-year-old State Department Food for Peace Program, which sends food to poor countries hit by war or natural disasters, and the elimination of the Department of Transportation’s Essential Air Service program, which subsidizes flights to rural airports.” Donald Trump Budget Slashes Funds for E.P.A. and State Department (by Glenn Thrush and Coral Davenport for the New York Times)
“”One of the officers calls out to me and says, ‘Hey, give me your phone,'” recalled Shibly. “And I said, ‘No, because I already went through this.'” The officer asked a second time. Within seconds, he was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone. McCormick watched her boyfriend’s face turn red as the officer’s chokehold tightened.” American Citizens: U.S. Border Agents Can Search Your Cellphone
“Within the last week, nearly a dozen teens of color have gone missing in the Washington D.C. area. According to the D.C. Police Department, more than 10 Black and Latinx teens have been reported missing. Sadly, the only mention of their disappearance comes from a series of tweets including several messages from the police department’s Twitter account and a small number of online news sites, including The Root and Teen Vogue.” What We Know So Far About D.C.’s Missing Black and Latinx Teens (by Mariya Moseley for Essence)
“But it appears that Just Want Privacy’s latest fear-mongering effort has backfired. Last week, the group tried to use the story of Kelly Herron, a local marathoner who was allegedly attacked by a man in a Golden Gardens bathroom, to promote their anti-trans ballot measure in a fundraising e-mail and on Facebook. Unfortunately for Just Want Privacy, Herron has now spoken out against their campaign. “To the people behind I-1552, I say ‘not today, mutherf*ckers,'” Herron said in a public statement today about Just Want Privacy’s attempts to use her story, repeating the words she says she screamed at her attacker. “I refuse to allow anyone to use me and my horrific sexual assault to cause harm and discrimination to others.”” Golden Gardens Jogger Demands Anti-Trans Group Retract Fundraising Effort Using Her Story (by Sydney Brownstone for The Stranger)
“Drug overdoses have led to a spike in the number of bodies coming to the Stark County morgue — an increase of about 20 percent in the last year. The additional bodies led to the need for more space, so the coroner’s office borrowed a trailer from the state until it gets caught up. “I’ve been involved in public safety for 40 some years; I remember the drug problem we had in the late ’60s and early ’70s when I joined the department,” Walters said. “The fatality numbers are nothing even close to this.”” Drugs are killing so many people in Ohio that cold-storage trailers are being used as morgues (by Kristine Phillips for the Washington Post)
“Unlike the rest of the UK, abortion is a criminal offence in Northern Ireland, where women face up to life in prison. It is estimated that more than a thousand women each year travel to Great Britain for terminations. However, Northern Irish women are not entitled to free abortions on the NHS, despite being UK taxpayers and they instead must pay for private procedures. Activists say this means low-income women are increasingly unable to travel and are instead buying abortion pills online and taking them at home in Northern Ireland.” Northern Irish police raid women’s homes in crackdown on abortion pills (by Siobhan Fenton for The Independent)
“When it comes to issues related to health, state Rep. Jessica Farrar says that men should have to undergo the same “unnecessary” and “invasive” procedures that she says Texas women are subjected to under recently passed state laws. That’s why the the Houston Democrat on Friday filed House Bill 4260, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and create a required booklet for men with medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, a Viagra prescription or a colonoscopy. The bill would also let doctors invoke their “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs” in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra, among other proposed requirements in the bill.” With proposal to penalize men for masturbating, legislator aims to shake up health debate (by Alex Samuels for The Texas Tribune)
“After a stop at the locked-down East Precinct at 12th and Pine, the huge three-block crowd of marchers made its way down 12th toward the King County Youth Services Center — also known as juvenile hall. Last week, activists learned that the the Hearing Examiner had dismissed an appeal blocking construction of a new youth jail and justice center at the site. In a decision issued last week, the examiner dismissed the appeal brought by Ending the Prison Industrial Complex’s asking for exceptions made in permits issued by the city to be overturned.” Protest march covers Black Lives Matter hot spots from Capitol Hill to youth jail to Midtown Center (by J Seattle for Capitol Hill Blog)
Horrific Executive Action and Legislation
“Today, Governor Daugaard signed Senate Bill 149 into law, making South Dakota the first state in 2017 to pass anti-LGBT legislation. The bill will allow taxpayer funded agencies to refuse to provide any service, including adoption or foster care services, on the basis on the agency’s religious or moral convictions.” Governor Daugaard Signs Discriminatory Senate Bill (ACLU)
“The officials told the Chronicle that agents feel free to engage in more “collateral arrests,” or arrests of people who are not the intended targets of the operation. These kinds of arrests were discouraged in the Obama years, when those with criminal records were the targets of raids. Now, agents are free to detain them if they’ve broken immigration law.” Immigration agents are reportedly basking in their new, less-regulated roles under Trump (by Matthew Rodriguez for Mic)
“Adichie saying that trans women once experienced male privilege before “changing” genders and implying that this disqualifies them from being women without an adjective erases their experiences of womanhood at all stages of their lives. It further ignores the very real violence they face (Chyna Gibson’s name still fresh on our lips, images of Dandara dos Santos’s brutal murder splashed across social media, at least seven trans women of color murdered in the US since 2017 began) and leaves nonbinary trans people and trans men out of the conversation entirely.” Why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Comments on Trans Women are Wrong and Dangerous (by Jarune Uwujaren for Unapologetic Feminism)
“A lawyer representing the family told LGBTQ Nation this all started last month, with the parents trying to get medical help for their daughter, who has type 1 diabetes and epilepsy. Although they agreed to something called a “therapeutic separation,” the attorney confirmed the parents never signed any documents surrendering their parental rights or authorizing any treatment of her gender identity, and in fact have attempted to have her moved to another hospital.” Is Christian-run hospital forcing this 5-year-old transgender girl to be a boy? (by Dawn Ennis for LGBTQ Nation)
“In addition, the majority of more than 1,800 innocent defendants framed by law enforcement since 1989 in widespread police scandals are African American, says the report, “Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States,” published Tuesday as a companion to the annual National Registry of Exonerations. “Judging from the cases we know, a substantial majority of innocent people who are convicted of crimes in the United States are African Americans,” the report declares.” Innocent Blacks More Likely Than Whites To Be Wrongfully Convicted (by Matt Ferner for Huffington Post)
“His claim—that if people would just make the right choices, they wouldn’t be so ding-dang poor—is part and parcel of the GOP’s long tradition of demonizing low-income members of the public. Republicans have been spouting the same canards for decades, castigating people with low incomes as lazy, moochers, and on the endless hunt for free stuff. And somehow the GOP seems to consistently equate poor with Black.” Jason Chaffetz’s Stance on iPhones and Health Care Is Both Heartless and Unoriginal (by Imani Gandy for Rewire)
“Despite this context, the creators of Speechless and the family drama Switched at Birth, both on air this spring, are talking to people with lived experience with disability, casting disabled people to play disabled characters, and using the structure of their respective genres to tell stories that ring true to a parent like me. And by incorporating unconventional families — which resemble my own in their battles over access and stigma — into classic American television genres, they are directing contemporary dialogues about disability straight at a mainstream audience.” The Shows Shaking Up Disability Representation on Television (by David M. Perry for Pacific Standard)
“Co-host Allison Kilkenny, who is also Kilstein’s estranged wife (they separated last year), announced Kilstein’s departure from the show via a Facebook post last Monday in which she wrote, “Recently, some disturbing allegations have been brought to my attention entailing several women who have accused Jamie of being manipulative, emotionally abusive, and predatory in his behavior.” It’s not clear, however, whether any specific incident triggered the departure.” Progressive Performer Jamie Kilstein Ousted From Citizen Radio After ‘Disturbing Allegations’ (by Prachi Gupta for Jezebel)